What Causes Lyme Disease In Dogs
Dogs contract Lyme disease through the bite of infected ticks. These ticks contain the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, which is a type of organism known as a spirochete.
There are at least four species of ticks in the world known to carry Lyme disease:
In the United States, the most common source of transmission is the Deer Tick or Black-Legged Tick, scientifically known as Ixodes pacificus on the West Coast and Ixodes scapularis on the East Coast. In Europe, the Ixodes ricinus and Ixodes persulcatus ticks carry Lyme disease.
These ticks are tiny, which can make them hard to see or feel on your dog, and all stages of the tick can carry and spread the disease, although adult ticks tend to be the most infectious. It typically takes 24 to 48 hours after attaching to a host for the tick to spread the Lyme-causing bacteria, although transmission of disease can sometimes occur much more rapidly.
Certain areas are more prone to ticks than others. Wooded or grassy areas and areas with large tick populations pose the highest risk of infection. Ticks tend to be most active in the spring and fall when they are actively seeking hosts, which increases the risk of Lyme transmission. However, recent evidence indicates that ticks are also active in winter, as long as the temperature is above freezing.
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Schedule More Vet Visits With Fewer Vaccines
Research has shown that the risk of mild vaccine reactions in dogs does increase when multiple vaccines are given at the same time, particularly in dogs that are young adults, small breeds, or neutered.
One study also found that these mild vaccine reactions are more common when the leptospirosis vaccine has been given. Note that severe, life-threatening vaccine reactions in dogs do not occur more commonly with multiple vaccines nor with the lepto vaccine.
More vet visits with fewer vaccines per visit may reduce the risk of the mild vaccine reactions. Only you can decide if the added cost, time, and stress of multiple vet visits is worth the reduction of risk.
Lyme Disease Symptoms In Dogs
Veterinarians in the Northeast know Lyme disease well. Its symptoms are very noticeable in dogs, says Beverly Cappel, DVM, in Chestnut Ridge, NY. They look like theyre coming down with the flu. They ache everywhere, walk hunched over as though stepping on eggshells, limp, have no appetite, and move in slow motion.
Their necks are stiff, their heads ache, they dont want to look up at the light, and they squint.
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With Tick Control & Vaccination In Endemic Areas Lyme Disease Is Preventable
Richard E. Goldstein, DVM, Diplomate ACVIM & ECVIM
Lyme disease, its causative tick-borne agentBorrelia burgdorferi, and Ixodes ticks are all on the rise. In August 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention increased their estimate of the number of new human cases of Lyme disease from 30,000 to 300,000 annually.1
Tick removal and control is an important part of prevention of Lyme disease, but so is Lyme disease vaccination. No vaccine is completely without risk, but when weighing the risks versus the benefits, I believe the evidence strongly supports the following:
Can My Animal Get Infected Despite Being Vaccinated
Yes. Some animals have been infected despite vaccination. The most common reasons are low or short-lasting vaccine antibodies in the individual animal. It is advisable to monitor the vaccine response annually to ensure the animal develops sufficient antibodies in response to vaccination. Vaccine antibodies can be quantified with the Lyme Multiplex assay as early as two weeks following vaccination or anytime afterwards.
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What Is My Takeaway Message
The vast majority of the tens of millions of pets are vaccinated without any problems each year. Closely monitor your pet, and report any problems to your veterinarian as soon as possible. Vaccines save countless lives and prevent devastating infectious diseases from threatening our pet loved ones. If you have any questions or concerns, please discuss them with your veterinarian.
|Contributors: Ernest Ward, DVM Updated by Rania Gollakner, BS DVM|
Long Term Side Effects Of Lyme Vaccine In Dogs
The short term side effects of the Lyme vaccine are the same short term effects that are likely from any canine vaccination. There are currently no proven cases of long term illness as a direct result of the canine Lyme disease vaccination. Even so, there is still debate over whether or not the vaccine has more side effects. Indeed The New York Times went so far as to publish an article recommending cautious use of Lyme vaccines.
This warning was based on the work of Dr. Richard Jacobson from Cornell University in 1991. He was concerned that the vaccine may trigger production of certain antibodies that clog up the kidneys and cause renal failure.
However, to date, no firm data, evidence, or clinical trials have backed up this concern. Despite extensive clinical trials, no long term side effects have been proven either by manufacturers of Lyme vaccines or concerned parties. To illustrate the complexity of this subject, VetInfo writes about protecting dogs against Lyme disease and some of the unproven side effects of vaccination. Potential long term effects include the following.
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How Can I Prevent My Dog From Getting Lyme Disease
The key to prevention is keeping your dog from being exposed to ticks. Ticks are found in grassy, wooded, and sandy areas. They find their way onto an animal by climbing to the top of a leaf, blade of grass, or short trees, especially cedar trees. Here they wait until their sensors detect an approaching animal on which to crawl or drop. Keeping animals from thick underbrush reduces their exposure to ticks. Dogs should be kept on trails when walked near wooded or tall grass areas. Vaccination against Lyme disease is recommended for pets that live in endemic areas or that travel to areas where Lyme disease is prevalent.
“Vaccination against Lyme disease is recommended for pets that live in endemic areas or that travel to areas where Lyme disease is prevalent.”
How Would Lyme Disease Affect My Dog
This can be a complicated question because Lyme Disease can have different levels of effects across different types of dogs. For example, there are dogs who get this health condition and, particularly in certain areas of the United States, do not always show canine Lyme disease symptoms.
As shared by Meryl Littman, lead researcher at University of Pennsylvanias School of Veterinary Medicine explains, 95% of exposed dogs dont get sick, but they become Lyme antibody-positive on tests, which may scare people into thinking they need to be treated.
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Can Lyme Disease Be Transmitted From Pet To Pet
Lyme disease is seen in dogs, cats, and humans but thankfully, no, Lyme disease is not contagious, as it can only be transmitted via a tick bite. However, if one of your dogs or cats develops it, youll want to get all of your pets checked for the illness, as they may all be at risk of exposure to the ticks that infected your sick fur baby. You may even want to get yourself checked as well, as people are usually in the same places as their pets.
What Is Lyme Disease In Dogs
Lyme disease is also referred to as Lyme borreliosis, a bacterial illness that certain species of infected ticks can transmit to humans, dogs and other animals.
Since ticks dont fly or jump, they make contact with their host by lurking on the tips of long grass or bush, then quickly grabbing onto your dog when he walks by. He then crawls on to his body to look for a place to bite.
An infected tick carries the spiral-shaped bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, then bites a dog or person, transmitting the virus through the bloodstream.
Once its entered the bloodstream, the bacteria can reach different parts of the body and result in problems with specific areas or organs, including joints, as well as general illness. The disease can be transmitted after a tick has been attached to a dog for 24 to 48 hours.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
Dogs can display several forms of Lyme disease, but the most common symptoms are lameness, swollen lymph nodes, joint swelling, fatigue, and loss of appetite. In addition, serious kidney complications have been associated with Lyme disease in dogs.
Clinical signs of Lyme disease in horses include shifting-leg lameness, generalized stiffness, hypersensitivity to touch, weight loss, and poor performance. Sometimes, the bacteria can infect the central nervous system, leading to neurologic symptoms.
Understanding Canine Lyme Disease
Dogs contract canine Lyme disease from the bite of an infected deer tick. The disease became prevalent in the town of Lyme, Connecticut, in the 1980s and has spread to many areas since.
Not every bite leads to Lyme disease. Thedeer tick must remain attached for at least 48 hours. If you pull the tick off before the two days pass, Lyme disease will not be an issue.
While humans will show a round, red rash,dogs will not. Symptoms will not show up for weeks, even months. At this point, the dog might develop a fever, but the most common symptom is joint pain that is extremely similar to arthritis. Your vet will check your pet’s blood for Lyme disease if present antibiotics are the best course.
Vaccines are most effective in dogs traveling to the east coast where deer ticks are more common. Puppies asyoung as 12 weeks can receive Lyme disease vaccinations. Boosters are required every year. Some states don’t have deer ticks, so the necessityof the vaccine is low unless you plan to travel to states where deer ticks reside.
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Cat & Dog Vaccine Side Effects And What You Should Know
Vaccines protect cats and dogs from common and serious conditions and diseases, but many pet owners are worried about the possible side effects. In this blog, our Stockton vets go over the most common side effects of cat and dog vaccines as well as the actions you should take if your pet does experience them.
Does Your Dog Need The Lyme Vaccine
The Lyme vaccine is a non-core vaccine. This means that it is not required for all dogs. Instead, the decision of whether to vaccine a particular dog for Lyme disease is based on an individual risk assessment.
Dogs that are at higher risk of Lyme disease include:
- Dogs that live in high-risk areas
- Dogs that travel to high-risk areas
- Dogs that are frequently exposed to ticks
If your dog lives in or travels to the northeastern United States, your veterinarian is likely to highly recommend Lyme vaccination. If you live elsewhere in the country, your veterinarians recommendation will depend on your dogs lifestyle. For example, a toy breed dog that eliminates on potty pads and never goes outdoors probably does not need a Lyme vaccine. A dog in a low-risk area that goes hiking regularly with its owner, however, may benefit from vaccination.
Lyme disease prevention in dogs requires more than just a vaccine, however. Like any other vaccine, Lyme vaccines are not 100 percent effective. In fact, tick control is shown to be more effective at preventing Lyme disease than vaccination alone . Therefore, any dog at risk of Lyme disease must be kept on an effective tick control, to help prevent not only Lyme disease but also other tick-borne diseases. In dogs at high risk of Lyme disease, however, vaccination provides an important backup layer of protection.
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The Lyme Vaccine For Dogs And Why To Just Say No
The dangers of the lyme vaccine for dogs is worse than the disease itself. The vaccine side effects were so bad with people, they took the human version off the market yet not the canine. Why is that?
Perhaps its that lawsuits by people with adverse reactions to the vaccine are paid more attention to by the courts.
While Im sure the drug companies are continuing to make new and better versions of this vaccine, I wouldnt let my dogs have it even if someone paid ME.
First of all, none of the US Veterinary schools recommend the lyme vaccine for dogs. Second, a dog can carry the spirochete for years without being affected by them, so what do you suppose would happen to a dog receiving a vaccine for something they already have lying dormant?
I have no idea whether that is the cause of the worst lyme vaccine side effect or not but the vaccine can and sometimes does prompt an incurable variety of Lyme Disease to develop.
This is more than a controversial vaccine for dogs. The Lymerix vaccine for humans was recalled due to severe adverse events and the lipoprotein antigen used in all Lyme vaccines is now understood to potentially cause autoimmune disease that can cause painful arthritis, kidney disease and neurological disease that not surprisingly are similar to Lyme disease.
Part of the scare of lyme disease in dogs is the problem with testing for the disease itself. There is a difference between testing positive for Lyme and actually having Lyme disease.
Are There Other Possible Side Effects Of Vaccination That I Should Watch For In My Pet
Other less common but more serious side effects can occur within minutes to hours after vaccination. These reactions are considered to be medical emergencies, and you should seek veterinary care immediately if any of the following occur:
- Collapse or fainting
- Small, red, raised, itchy bumps over the body
- Swollen or puffy eyes, muzzle, or face
- Persistent vomiting or diarrhea
“Before immunization, tell your veterinarian if your pet has had any previous vaccine reactions, regardless of how insignificant they may seem.”
Before immunization, tell your veterinarian if your pet has had any previous vaccine reactions, regardless of how insignificant they may seem. If you have any concerns that your pet may have a serious vaccine reaction, wait at your veterinary clinic for 30 to 60 minutes after vaccination.
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What Are The Three Stages Of Lyme Disease In Dogs
While there is only one type of Lyme disease in dogs, the illness usually progresses through three stagesearly localized Lyme, early disseminated Lyme and late disseminated Lyme. Early localized Lyme is very difficult to detect in dogs, as it typically manifests as fatigue, fever and joint and muscle pain. An infected dog may not actively show any of those signs.
Similar symptoms characterize the next stage but on a more aggressive level. This stage is when your dog may start limping or losing their appetite. Late disseminated Lyme disease in dogs can affect the organs, brain and spinal cord.
Dog parents may also mistake other illnesses as Lyme disease. Tick-borne ailments with similar symptoms to Lyme include Rocky Mountain spotted fever, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis or anaplasmosis. All these illnesses can cause fever, loss of appetite and lethargy identical to Lyme disease.
Does Treatment Immediately After A Tick Bite Negate Signs Of Early Infection
Not every tick carries B. burgdorferi. The infection rate of ticks also varies with geographic region. Therefore, treatment should not be performed based on a tick bite alone. If the tick was found on the animal it can be sent in for B. burgdorferi PCR. PCR for Anaplasma can be performed simultaneously if requested. If the tick was infected, early treatment can be considered. However, a tick must feed for at least 24 hours on an animal or human for B. burgdorferi transmission to occur. Only a serological test will confirm whether transmission of B. burgdorferi occurred and the animal was infected. Antibodies can be detected in infected animals as early as 3-4 weeks after infection. Lyme Multiplex testing is recommended after that time. Treatment can be initiated immediately afterwards if antibody levels are positive. Treatment during this early infection phase is generally very effective.
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Side Effects Of Lyme Disease Vaccine For Dogs
In recent years, there has been a variety of controversy around the topic of vaccines whether they are worth it or not. Turns out, this is not only a discussion around humans but for the dog community, as well.
Are you wondering whether or not it is a good idea to get your dog the Lyme disease vaccine? Thankfully, you can get questions answered right here at this blog. This article is going to dive into:
- What a dog vaccine is and why it is recommended
- The core vaccines the American Animal Hospital Associations Canine Task Force recommends getting
- The factors that affect whether or not it is ideal to get a dog vaccinated
- Potential dog Lyme vaccine side effects
After reviewing this information, it is recommended to reach out to your trusted veterinary professional and get their feedback and hear their expert opinion on whether or not your dog should be vaccinated.